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1-DAY TOUR FROM/TO NAGANO: SNOW MONKEYS, ZENKO-JI TEMPLE & SAKE

1-DAY TOUR FROM/TO NAGANO: SNOW MONKEYS, ZENKO-JI TEMPLE & SAKE

Period

All Year Round

Time

9:35 - 17:30

Meeting Place

JR Nagano Station Information Board

Price

Adult (13+) 15,500 JPY
Child (6-12) 11,000 JPY

Highlights

  • Visit the world-famous Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park and learn all about what makes the resident monkeys so unique
  • Explore Zenko-ji, one of Japan’s oldest and most important Buddhist temples, and home to the first known Buddhist statue to be brought to Japan.
  • Enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant and experience Nagano’s renowned food culture
  • Try ‘sake’ with a tasting and learning experience all led by your guide (non-alcoholic option also available)

 

Description

 

Awarded a Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award as one of Japan’s Top 10 experiences in 2019, this tour captures, this tour takes in some of Nagano’s most famous highlights in an enjoyable day of discovery. Running throughout the year and led by a locally-based, English-speaking guide, this tour is officially one of Japan’s most enjoyable days-out!

 


TC 2019 WHITE L R@2x

Your guide will meet you at JR Nagano Station at 09:35 (the guide will be waiting from 09:20 onward) and from there head to Zenko-ji. As a registered National Treasure, the temple is the most important cultural site in Nagano and one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in the entire country!

 

Zenko-ji temple in Nagano cityikko sanzan

 

A place of true historic importance, full of legends and myths, you will be guided around the temple before (time permitting) your guide will give you the opportunity to explore the surrounding precinct of smaller temples, shops, and food by yourself.

 

Nakamise street, Nagano

 

It’s then time for an early lunch! Depending on the time of year we use different restaurants, each serving cuisine highlighting the best of Nagano’s renowned food culture. From delicious and warming beef, chicken, or vegetarian hot pot in the winter months, to mixed sushi plates and Nagano-style chicken or seasonal grilled vegetables through spring to autumn, meals are designed to match the season and complemented with a guided ‘sake’ tasting experience, led by your guide.

 

tour lunch 3

 

Home to a huge number of breweries, Nagano is synonymous with sake and no visit to the region is complete without delving into Japan’s most famous beverage. Dip you toes into this seductive world as your guide explains the process, terminology, and appreciation of Nagano’s acclaimed sake (a non-alcoholic option is also available).

 

Well-fed and warmed by sake it`s time to head-out of Nagano, as you are transported to the Snow Monkey Park. Your guide will take you along the forest trail which leads to the park and into Jigokudani – rather dramatically translating to `Hell`s Valley`. Home to the only troop of monkeys in the entire world known to bathe in hot springs, there are no barriers separating you from the wild monkeys, making this a unique and memorable experience.

 

snow monkeys in bath snowSnow Monkeys_190217_0435

 

Your guide will introduce these truly curious creatures and provide you time to enjoy the unique experience of observing them in close proximity. Make sure to bring your camera as you`re going to need it!

 

Snow Monkeys_180710_0235Snow Monkeys_180521_0227

 

By visiting the park in the afternoon when visitor numbers are lower, we aim to provide our guests with the best possible experience and more space and time with the monkeys. Your guide will then accompany back along the trail and soon have you heading back toward Nagano, the perfect time to sit back, relax, and look through all those monkey photos before the tour returns to JR Nagano Station and concludes at 17:30.

 

ITINERARY

09:35 Meet up with the guide at Nagano Station. The meeting point is across from the Shinkansen exit/entrance under the Information Board. Our guide will be there by 9:20.
10:00 Arrive at Zenko-ji Temple and explore the precinct with your guide followed by (time permitting) 25-30 minutes of free time.
11:30 Enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant along with a sake tasting experience led by your guide.
13:00 Depart Nagano and head toward the Snow Monkey Park.
14:00 Arrive nearby the Snow Monkey Park area. Prepare and walk along the forest trail (25-30 minutes) into the park.
14:40 Arrive at the park and enjoy watching the wild macaques bathing in the onsen and going about their lives.
15:40 Depart the park and walk back out along the forest trail.
16:20 Leave the Snow Monkey Park area and begin your return journey to Nagano.
17:30 Tour concludes at JR Nagano Station.

NOTES

Included:

  • Transportation fee from Nagano to the Snow Monkey Park and between activities/attractions
  • Snow Monkey Park entrance fee
  • Lunch (vegetarian options are available, please let us know beforehand)
  • Sake tasting
  • English-speaking guide

 

Excluded:

  • Bullet train tickets
  • Optional entrance fee to the inner sanctuary of Zenko-ji Temple

 

Other Information:

  • Please wear suitable shoes for the walking trail.
  • During the winter it is common to see the Snow Monkeys enjoying the hot spring bath, however from spring up to autumn there will be times where the monkeys play or eat in the water, however please note that the monkeys are wild animals and there is no guarantee that there will be monkeys in the bath.
  • There are a few days in the year that the monkeys might not come down to the park. In such case we will provide an alternative activity.
  • Infants (0-5) are free of charge. An infant lunch is not included and the order will be made directly to the restaurant according to your needs.
  • The tour application deadline is 1 day before the tour date at 17:00.

MEETING PLACE

Google Map

JR Nagano Station Information Board

Kurita, Nagano-shi, Nagano, 380-0921, Japan

FAQ

Which train service should I use to arrive in Nagano on time for the tour? What time does the bullet train depart back to Tokyo after the tour?

The start and end of the tour are arranged according to the bullet train (called Hokuriku Shinkansen) timetable. See below for specific timetables on the bullet train departure and arrival times to/from Nagano Station.

 

Departing Tokyo Station – Arriving Nagano Station:

Tokyo: 07:20 – Nagano: 08:43 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only) 

Tokyo: 07:24 – Nagano: 09:14 – Asama

Tokyo: 07:52 – Nagano: 09:30 – Hakutaka*

 

* You can still take 07:52 – 09:30 train since JR Nagano Station isn’t big at all and there is only one Shinkansen ticket exit. The tour meet-up is just after the Shinkansen ticket exit so please come straight up to there.

 

Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Tokyo Station:

Nagano: 17:55 – Tokyo: 19:20 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)

Nagano: 18:22 – Tokyo: 20:00 – Hakutaka

 

Also, if you are staying in Myoko Kogen and would like to join the tour, you can take a train from Myoko Kogen Station and get to Nagano Station on time (830 JPY / one way).

 

Departing Myoko Kogen Station – Arriving Nagano Station:

Myoko Kogen: 7:48 – Nagano: 8:32

Myoko Kogen: 8:39 – Nagano: 9:22

 

Departing Nagano Station  – Arriving Myoko Kogen Station:

Nagano: 18:14 – Myoko Kogen: 18:59

 

Can I join the tour from meeting points other than JR Nagano Station?

Yes. We offer 3 pickup points in Nagano City for the convenience of our guests. Our main/default meeting point is JR Nagano Station at 09:35 – in front of the Information Board directly across from the shinkansen tickets gates – however we also offer pickup in the lobby of Hotel Kokusai 21 at 09:10 and in front of Monzen Terrrace Enya/Patio Daimon at 09:55.  You can choose your preferred pickup point from the relevant box on the booking menu. Please ensure that you come to your selected meeting point on time.

 

I am staying at Yudanaka/Shibu/Kanbayashi Onsen, can I end the tour there instead of returning to JR Nagano Station? Can you transport my luggage?

Guests staying nearby the monkey park are free to end the tour there and not return to JR Nagano Station. Yudanaka Onsen, Shibu Onsen, and Kanbayashi Onsen are all popular accommodation options in the region and we are happy to say goodbye at either Kanbayashi Onsen or Yudanaka Station. It may be possible to transport your luggage with us however please let us know if advance, particuarly if you have large suitcases. This tour includes a reasonable amount of walking and might require use of public transport. The guide will not be able to assist with carrying your luggage however they can arrange for it to be left while you visit the temple and monkey park.

 

 

RESERVATION
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